Dancing Transformation

I went to visit my sisters in San Francisco and Berkeley this weekend, which also coincided with my favorite Argentine tango event, the San Francisco Tango Marathon (SFTM). I like that tango marathons do not have any classes; instead, pure social dancing starts in the early afternoon (by 2 pm) and continues until about 4 am. When I attended the SFTM two years ago, I was hooked on tango and proceeded to attend approximately one festival per month. However, as my relationship with Ben has deepened, my need and desire to dance has decreased. But, for the last year, I have still been seeking out that old dance high. This weekend, I finally started accepting the new place that dance now has in my life.

I love the connection to music and movement that dance offers. I love closing my eyes and being swept around on the dance floor. Tango brings me to a zen place of existing in the moment, and I love that it distract me from all of my worries, almost as if it resets my brain.

Tango also served another major purpose for me. Tango is a social activity. You do not dance alone. You connect with a partner (actually, many partners over the course of an evening). When I lacked deep relationships in my life, tango fulfilled my desire for human connection. Tango satisfied my need for closeness. However, as my relationships with Ben, my family, and my non-tango friends have strengthened, my more superficial connections in tango are less satisfying. It is less fun for me to bounce around from dance partner to dance partner. I am not seeking out hugs from many different dancer guys when I get my best hugs from my loving boyfriend, Ben. And, my favorite time dancing at the marathon this weekend was not when I was actually dancing, it was when my younger sister (who also dances tango) and I sat at a table, watching the other dancers and laughing about life.

Tango used to be my favorite thing in the world. Now, Ben, my family, my friends, my puppies, and other aspects of my life are taking over. It used to make me sad that tango no longer has so much power over me, that it does not make me as happy as it used to, but I am now so thankful that the rest of my life is more fulfilling than it ever used to be. While I was once grieving the loss of my former tango joys, I am now embracing the gift of the joy that everything else brings me.

Moving forward, I know that dance will always be a part of my life. My body just loves to move to music and I still enjoy the zen that that tango offers. Tango is just going to occupy a different space than it used to, and I am ok with that.

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